James Franco’s brother Dave and the other Hemsworth fellas may now be hot property in Hollywood, but not all acting siblings have been so lucky.
From cult B-movie figures to totally obscure supporting players, Pippa Day looks at twelve lesser-known brothers and sisters of major movie stars.
1. Frank Stallone
Brother of Sylvester
Rambo’s younger brother. As well as playing a singer in the Rocky franchise (and fighting his brother on set), Frank has been in such terrible films as Return of the Roller Blade Seven and Zero Dark Dirty. He doesn’t take his career too seriously, occasionally guest starring as himself (“I feel like my brother’s Santa Claus,” he admits forlornly in Fred Claus).
As well as acting, however, the younger Stallone is actually a successful singer-songwriter. The track ‘Far From Over‘ from the soundtrack for Staying Alive earned Stallone a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture, and a Grammy nod to boot.
2. Charlie Murphy
Brother of Eddie
Funny runs in the family with The Nutty Professor and his older brother. Originally a cast member and writer on Chappelle’s Show, Charlie retold stories of him and his brother in a sketch series. He is currently touring the States, performing as a comedian (if you don’t want to travel too far you can follow him on twitter). The other Murphy has also tried out acting in films and played kingpin Gusto in CB4, starring alongside Chris Rock. Watch a clip below (NSFW).
3. Don Swayze
Brother of Patrick
Nobody puts Baby in a corner, but Don may be over there. He’s starred in a handful of films and lots of small television roles (he recently played a werewolf in True Blood). He also took a role in Movie Stars, which saw him and two others on this list playing themselves.
4. Jonathan Firth
Brother of Colin
Mr Darcy isn’t the only dapper English gent that the Firth family have to offer. Jonathan is, like his brother, costume drama-loving when it comes to picking roles, but hasn’t been seen on our screens for a few years. The man is no acting novice (despite starring in The Prince and Me 4: The Elephant Adventure). After training at Central School of Speech and Drama, he toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company – and in 2003 was awarded the CFT Excellence Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in Luther.
5. Michael Buscemi
Brother of Steve
Nucky Thompson has three brothers – and this one also acts. Michael has starred in a range of film and television roles, and will be appearing in an episode of Orange is the New Black next season. He recently appeared in Nurse Jackie, playing ‘God’ (episodes of the show have been directed by his famous bro). Michael has previously had roles in The Sopranos and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry too.
6. Eric Roberts
Brother of Julia
To say the pretty woman’s brother has had a pretty diverse acting career would be an understatement. Eric has starred in some great films, gaining an Oscar nomination for Runaway Train in 1985 and making an appearance in The Dark Knight as mafia boss Sal Maroni. He has also starred in some very bad ones.
The sheer volume of appearances eclipses his sister (her 50 roles to his staggering 362). According to IMDB he currently has a whopping 73 films in production, announced or yet to be released. If you’re in that many films, you’re bound to star in some stinkers. A Halloween Puppy, Bigfoot vs. D.B. Cooper and Sharktopus are just three of his more questionable acting jobs (Cowboys vs Dinosaurs is yet to be released).
As well as acting in films, Eric has appeared on reality television shows including Celebrity Wife Swap and Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew. His daughter, Emma, is also an actor (Scream 4, American Horror Story) and will be starring alongside James Franco in Palo Alto.
Watch Roberts as a cop in the video for Akon’s ‘Smack That’:
7. Sophie Thompson
Sister of Emma
Nanny McPhee’s sibling has forged a respectable career away from her sister’s success, even going on to win Celebrity Masterchef this year. She appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as Mafalda Hopkirk (and Hermione dressed up as the character) and notably in soap opera Eastenders as the villain Stella (a child abuser who committed suicide). Sophie has also made some regrettable acting decisions, however, starring in the appalling piece of cinema that is Fat Slags. Just no.
8. Emily Deschanel
Sister of Zooey
New Girl’s older sis is best known for her work in Bones as forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance “Bones” Brennan. You’d be forgiven for not remembering her other acting roles, such as the receptionist in Spiderman 2. The Deschanel sisters also have a famous filmmaker father, Caleb Deschanel (the five time Academy Award nominee). He is a cinematographer who has worked on films including The Patriot, The Passion of Christ, Jack Reacher and National Treasure.
9. Brett Harrelson
Brother of Woody
Compared to a brother currently nominated for an Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy, Brett’s acting career looks a tad tired. After appearing as his real brother’s on-screen brother in The People vs. Larry Flynt, he has mostly starred in flops such as the direct to video flick From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money. That doesn’t matter though, because Brett can walk down a flight of steps on his hands.
10. Clint Howard
Brother of Ron
As a child Clint was also a budding screen talent, voicing characters in Disney films including Roo in Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree and Hathi Jr. (the elephant) in The Jungle Book. He has since appeared in various Star Trek episodes and taken lots of roles in his brother Ron’s films, ultimately winning an MTV Lifetime Achievement Award (he may be bitter about it being compared to his brother’s Oscar).
11. Joey Travolta
Brother of John
As well as directing a number of features, Joey has starred in films such as Beverly Hills Cop III, 3 Ninjas Kick Back and Beach Babes from Beyond (also starring Jackie Stallone and Don Swayze). These bad movie choices mean little however when compared to the wonderful company he founded, Inclusion Films, which hosts practical film workshops for adults with developmental disabilities.
Joey also released a self-titled debut album in 1978 including the song ‘If this is love’, which wasn’t successful but was covered by Tom Jones.
12. Joel Murray
Brother of Bill
Brother to Steve Zissou and Venkman himself, Joel is most well known for his role as Freddy Rumsen in Mad Men, and recently lent his voice to friendly beast Don Carlton in Monsters University. He has appeared in many television shows including Two and a Half Men, Cold Case and Malcolm in the Middle. He also directed an episode of The Big Bang Theory.
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All photos – Getty